Curtain Call Previews

10:29am Friday 17th February 2012

By Lorelei Reddin

IT isn’t often you get the chance to witness Gods misbehaving, a flock of fluffy sheep, a cheating wife being kidnapped and a man who thinks he is a bumble bee, all being overseen by “love” police.

Southampton Operatic Society bring you their latest offering Orpheus in the Underworld at the Nuffield from Tuesday to Saturday.

This version keeps much of Offenbach’s jovial music, but has been re-written by several of the Society’s members, back to a simple two-act version.

The audience will certainly recognise Offenbach’s music, before being treated to a can can spectacle.

Essentially a love-story, Jupiter and Pluto both want the beautiful Eurydice to themselves. Due to a minor mistake from a passing snake, Eurydice dies and descends to the Underworld with Pluto, who denies all knowledge of her whereabouts. Jupiter, being aware of Pluto’s character, decides to take a trip to Hell to search for Eurydice, and allows the other gods to come along too. Meanwhile, Eurydice’s husband Orpheus is given a tough journey to redeem her mortal soul. The question is Can-Can he do it?

Box office: 023 8067 1771 or nuffieldtheatre.co.uk.

n THE Chesil theatre presents 10x10, a showcase of new writing by local writers and the culmination of the theatre’s biennial Playwriting Competition.

Performances will take place this weekend.

This year’s showcase is also part of RSC Open Stages, which means all ten plays have a link to Shakespeare. Audiences will be treated to a collection of plays inspired by themes dealt with by the Bard, including some schoolgirls dabbling in sorcery and a very lose connection to Richard III who, in this version, dabbles in politics.

This year’s ten winning plays are: By Any Other Name by Graham Cranmer, Doubt Truth to be a Liar by Sarah Reilly, Herbie by Jonathan Edgington, Smooth Never Did Run by Margaret Histed, Ouija by Madeleine Woosnam, Poor Yorick by Sarah Hawkins, Richard and George by Sian Woodruff, Star-Crossed Lovers by Noel Thorpe-Tracey, Steve Wright in the Afternoon by Peter Phillips and The Psychiatrist by David Dunn.

n RAODS latest studio production at the Plaza Theatre is Frozen by Bryony Lavery.

Twenty years ago Nancy sent her youngest daughter Rhona to her Grandmother’s house to help in the garden.

She never got there.

Nancy retreats into a state of frozen hope. Two decades later, she has to make an impossible choice when the chance arises to meet her daughter’s killer. This remarkable play explores coping with loss, forgiveness and redemption through tragedy.

The three main characters embark on a dark journey which finally curves up into light. There are surprises and moments of brave humour to lighten this emotional rollercoaster.

Buy tickets at ticketsource.co.uk/plazatheatre or call 01794 512987.

n DOWNTOWN Manhattan comes to Hedge End from Thursday to Saturday when Barton Peveril Sixth Form College stages a major production of West Side Story at The Berry Theatre.

The college, which counts Colin Firth among its alumni, has a longstanding reputation for excellence in theatre arts and will feature performers from three of its partner schools – Thornden, Toynbee and Wyvern – among the cast.

See theberrytheatre.co.uk or call 01489 799499.

n TWENTY-five years ago, Sharky played a game of cards with the devil and now the devil has come to collect...

Leading Irish writer Conor McPherson’s play, The Seafarer, will be performed by Bench Theatre Company at The Spring Arts Centre, Havant from Tuesday to Saturday.

Having returned home to care for his blind brother, he prepares to play another card game this time putting his very soul on the line.

The play is about darkness and light in the most unlikely places.

n FACED with the news of her impending demise, Myra is trying for once to be the model home-maker, wife, and mother, turning her household topsy-turvy as she sets her sights on a few domestic tasks to complete before she leaves…like arranging every last detail of her own funeral and relentlessly trying to force her fractured family to communicate with each other.

In Laura Wade's funny and moving comedy-drama, Myra, her mild-mannered husband and quirky daughters set off on a whirlwind journey of surprise, exasperation, and discovery just as Myra's own lifetime passage is winding down to its final destination…a hilarious and powerful story of our human condition.

Titchfield Festival Theatre’s Colder Than Here is at St Margaret’s Arts until Friday February 24.

Visit titchfieldfestivaltheatre.com or call 01329 556156.

Call 023 9247 2700 or visit thespring.co.uk.

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